World News

Queen Elizabeth celebrates 100 years of UK's Royal Air Force

Posted July 10, 2018 4:23 a.m. EDT

— Queen Elizabeth is attending an event celebrating 100 years of Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF) on Tuesday that will include a huge flypast of up to 100 aircraft.

Her appearance comes one day after the monarch, 92, and her husband, Prince Philip, 97, missed the christening of their sixth great-grandchild, Prince Louis. Both have been scaling back their public and private engagements in recent years.

The UK's Press Association said the decision to miss the christening was understood not to have been made for health reasons and was mutually agreed to by the Queen and Louis' parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, some time ago.

The Queen is attending the event in central London on Tuesday with her son and heir to the throne, the Prince of Wales and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Catherine and Prince Harry and his wife Meghan. They are joined by other prominent public figures, including UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

First on the agenda is a service in Westminster Abbey celebrating 100 years of the RAF, which came into formal existence on April 1, 1918, just a few months before the end of World War I.

Hundreds of servicemen and women will then take part in a parade on the Mall, leading up to Buckingham Palace, before members of the royal family gather to watch a flypast of up to 100 aircraft -- including Chinooks, Spitfires, Hawks and Red Arrows -- at 1 p.m. local time (8 a.m. ET), according to the RAF.

Some roads in central London have been closed ahead of the parade and flypast, Transport for London announced Tuesday.

The celebrations mark the second event in a busy week for Britain's royals, following Monday's christening and ahead of the Queen's meeting with US President Donald Trump at Windsor Castle on Friday.